Taxing Closed Schuylkill County Catho...

Taxing Closed Schuylkill County Catholic Churches: Local offici...

There are 13 comments on the The Morning Call story from Apr 6, 2009, titled Taxing Closed Schuylkill County Catholic Churches: Local offici.... In it, The Morning Call reports that:

Schuylkill County , where by far the largest number of Catholic churches were closed when the Allentown Diocese restructured this summer, will let local municipalities and school boards decide whether to try and tax buildings no longer used for worship.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at The Morning Call.

“Think”

Since: Mar 07

Edison, NJ

#1 Apr 6, 2009
Seems disingenuous of the county (Schuylkill) to object to a "spot assessment", while still insisting upon their cut if a district appeals. Carbon County seems more consistent in their approach.
hmmmmm

Butler, NJ

#2 Apr 6, 2009
Tax them. If they aren't being used as places of worship then taxes should be paid. Actually, I think they should be paying taxes anyway. Why should churches be exempt especially if they are collecting money using some of the buildings for schools.

“GO PIGS ! 4/9/09”

Since: Apr 08

Bethlehem,Pa

#4 Apr 6, 2009
hmmmmm wrote:
Tax them. If they aren't being used as places of worship then taxes should be paid. Actually, I think they should be paying taxes anyway. Why should churches be exempt especially if they are collecting money using some of the buildings for schools.
Could you explain to me why you believe churches should be taxed, and at the same time hospitals like Lehigh Valley and St. Lukes are tax exempt all the while showing profts of $49 million and $29 million dollars and CEO s of the hospitals recieve bonuses in the millions !
........

“Think”

Since: Mar 07

Edison, NJ

#6 Apr 6, 2009
koch wrote:
<quoted text>Could you explain to me why you believe churches should be taxed, and at the same time hospitals like Lehigh Valley and St. Lukes are tax exempt all the while showing profts of $49 million and $29 million dollars and CEO s of the hospitals recieve bonuses in the millions !........
Fair question.

If you demand that an objective standard be met for non-profits or religions for receiving tax breaks, people cry "socialism". If you don't, the same people complain about the resulting abuses.

Can't win for trying.

What would you propose?

“Cool Logic - Burning Passion”

Since: Feb 07

Location hidden

#7 Apr 6, 2009
hmmmmm wrote:
Tax them. If they aren't being used as places of worship then taxes should be paid. Actually, I think they should be paying taxes anyway. Why should churches be exempt especially if they are collecting money using some of the buildings for schools.
Could you explain to me why you believe churches should be taxed, and at the same time hospitals like Lehigh Valley and St. Lukes are tax exempt all the while showing profts of $49 million and $29 million dollars and CEO s of the hospitals recieve bonuses in the millions !
........

**********

I think that we have a fairly good idea what motivates "hmmmmm" concerning this.
Norbert

Bethlehem, PA

#8 Apr 6, 2009
The ones that are open should pay taxes too. Get government out of the business of deciding what is and is not religion. Tax Catholics, Jews, Muslims, Wiccans, WASPs and Unitarians (that is just a singles club anyway).
bitter not guns

Northampton, PA

#9 Apr 6, 2009
The RC church doesn;t give a crap about it's people in the pews! Blood, sweat and tears built and maintained these buildings and now this! The church will sell them off as soon as the counties move to tax them. Hopefully some new faith groups will scoop up these properties and bring them back to life to the betterment of the communities they are located in.
mike

Northampton, PA

#10 Apr 6, 2009
go right ahead and tax them and wait and see what god does to the county's
Futile Gesture

Bethlehem, PA

#11 Apr 6, 2009
The places of worship can avoid being placed on the tax roll by a simple gesture---hold one worship service--in this case one mass--on the property each year.

This has worked in other states--for example, an Episcopal parish in Hoboken NJ that keeps its exemption in this fashion.

In order to sustain the argument that such occassional use does not qualify as valid worship use, the taxing authority would have to determine how many times a religious body must meet in order to be worshipping--a gross violation of the First Amendment.

This move to tax is an ill-disguised punitive measure against the Diocese. The way to move the property onto the tax rolls is for it to be sold and used for secular functions--which will forclose forever the existance of churches in these communities who claim to value their churches.
hmmmmm

Butler, NJ

#12 Apr 6, 2009
StaberDearth wrote:
hmmmmm wrote:
Tax them. If they aren't being used as places of worship then taxes should be paid. Actually, I think they should be paying taxes anyway. Why should churches be exempt especially if they are collecting money using some of the buildings for schools.

++++++++++
Could you explain to me why you believe churches should be taxed, and at the same time hospitals like Lehigh Valley and St. Lukes are tax exempt all the while showing profts of $49 million and $29 million dollars and CEO s of the hospitals recieve bonuses in the millions !
........
**********
I think that we have a fairly good idea what motivates "hmmmmm" concerning this.
The second part of that post wasn't mine. I wouldn't have had all those spelling mistakes. I'm curious, what do you think motivates me? I feel that since the Constitution forbids a government sponsored religion, then the churches are private businesses so to speak, and should pay taxes.
bitter not guns

Northampton, PA

#13 Apr 7, 2009
Tax them only if they provide no services to the community they are located in..and by services i would mean helping a food bank,providing low cost day care or an after school safe location to come to rather than an empty house. That is what a true church provides..not just a worship service!

“Think”

Since: Mar 07

Edison, NJ

#14 Apr 7, 2009
bitter not guns wrote:
Tax them only if they provide no services to the community they are located in..and by services i would mean helping a food bank,providing low cost day care or an after school safe location to come to rather than an empty house. That is what a true church provides..not just a worship service!
Then let's be fair and extend this thought. By your logic, ANY non-profit should be able to own ANYTHING tax-free, so long as they do SOMETHING of value?
bitter not guns

Northampton, PA

#15 Apr 7, 2009
We're both in the same ball park here. The RC Church has sold these people and their local facilities down the river for the sake of cold hard cash. It is what it is and I believe they will liquidate these vacant churches when the right chance for profit comes along. I think they should be taxed and force their hands to sell and I'm sure there are fellowships out there who would love to have a building to call their own and begin a true community outreach once again.

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